Saul – The Man Rejected by God
As we study the 2 books of Samuel, we sees the lives of 3 persons:-
- Prophet Samuel
- King Saul
- King David
In Prophet Samuel, we see him as the “Voice” of God. In his time, God’s people wanted a King just like the other nations who were ruled by Kings. Saul was chosen and God spoke to Samuel to seek out Saul and anoint him as King. But Saul did not please God to rule as King. His was disobedient and did not honour and fear God. Due to his own doings, God again spoke to Samuel and told him to look for another man, a shepherd lad called David whom He had chosen to replace King Saul.
This morning, let’s look at the life of King Saul and why he was rejected by God!
For this meditation, we too can learn many important lessons showing us how to avoid the snares of living after the flesh. In Romans 8:5-6, Paul cautioned believers “not to be carnally minded” which can lead to death. It is really sad to see him so different from David. David was said to love God and the Bible recorded for us in several places that David was “a man after God’s heart”.
As opposed to David, Saul was a carnal man and this eventually led to the demise of him and his 3 sons. In 1 Chronicles 10:13-14 we see a vivid picture of his carnal nature:-
“13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; 14 And enquired not of the Lord: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse”.
Let’s look at some of the things he did.
It is so sad to read of his disobedience to God. He was chosen to be the first King. Yet he blew it all.
He was a man who sought after the flesh. He listened to no one and made his own decisions.
As one time Prophet Samuel told King Saul to go and destroy everything in the city of Amalek but Saul failed to obey. Instead he decided to spare King Agag and he asked his men to keep the good cattle and herd:-
“1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”
At another time, he did not obey Samuel to wait for his arrival to make the burnt offering. Samuel did not arrived at the appointed time and Saul, being impatient, went ahead to make the offering. He did not have the office of a Priest and so he transgressed against the Lord.
1 Samuel 13:11 And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; 12 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. 13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.
We are told that King Saul used every devises available to kill David. He made plans to kill him. He arranged for him to be sent to the warfront to be killed, twice he broke his promises to give his 2 daughters in marriage to David. Instead he gave them to others to spite David. He threw a javelin at David several times in his attempts to kill David.
Look how jealous he was when he heard the cheers of women, singing and praising David for his many victories in battles:-
“1 Samuel 8:6
And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.
7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.
8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?
9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.”
Saul was quick tempered and we see that he was extremely envious of David’s achievements. His jealousy caused him to want to kill David. He was also very cruel by killing 85 priests just because he thought they conspired with David’s escape. All his life as King (his ministry) he did not serve God at all. Instead he only served his personal desires? He died doing that. It is so sad, isn’t it?
Once he wanted so bad to murder David that He asked as dowry for giving his daughter to David only if he killed 100 Philistines and produced their foreskins to him as evidence. Let read 1 Samuel 18:25:-
“And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king’s enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines”.
He Made False Promises
He was never seen to keep his promise both to God and to man!
Several times, He made promises to spare David but he never kept the promises he made.
In 1 Samuel 19:4-6, after his son, Jonathan, spoke well of David and pleaded with him not to kill David, Saul hearkened to him and promised not to slay David but a while later he went after David to kill him.
Another time, David had opportunity to take revenge to kill Saul, but he did not because he respected Saul as being a man chosen and “anointed” by God. Read 1 Samuel 24:6
“And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.”
Clearly we need to pay heed to the lessons shown here:-
To always walk in Obedience to God, even in small things. And this is so well said in Micah 6:8:-
8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good;
and what doth the Lord require of thee,
but to do justly,
and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God?
If we continue this way, we will grow stronger and be drawn closer to God and His blessings will abound and overflow. It might at times overtake us!
This is the God we serve!